Martha had come over for tea with her mother at around noon as she dispensed her upset expectations over Henry, Arthur and Joseph in results of their engagements elsewhere.
"Weeks since we last saw them! Weeks, I cannot bear to see only ladies everywhere I go," Martha complained though I was glad to see ladies rather than Mr. Howard.
"Well we will most likely see them in the Winter Ball," I tried to comfort her.
"The Winter Ball is fifteen days away Alice, it might as well be a lifetime, I will die of boredom if I have to keep sipping on an endless supply of tea without any male companions in sight."
"You will not die, and you will behave until you see Henry, though what you find in him is beyond me."
"Well that may not matter much by the Winter Ball, mama is probably telling yours right now about the proposal I have received from Mr. Dunn," she stunned me with the news.
"You mean the widower near Cynthia's place?"
"Yes, I told you he had been too agreeable towards me."
"Yes but he revulsed you did he not?"
"He does and not because he is a widower for if he were Earl Bridgeston I would not think so hard on it." Martha said of Mr. Howard's appearance in contrast to the older Mr. Dunn, "though the Earl does scare me a little and he does not really get on with many people. Well I guess when everyone is beneath you there is not much need to be pleasant and obliging is there?"
"Although he was very pleasant to..." Martha began the sentence and I waited confused why she was taking so long to talk.
"Your mother," she said it and I was relieved she did not say me but a little horrified she said my mother.
"Well they must have a lot in common is all," I repeated Joseph's words for lack of anything to say. "But how did your proposal come about?"
"Mr. Dunn sent a calling card this week, and when he showed up for tea he asked for a private audience with me, I thought I would collapse there from shock but no I handled it like a lady."
"So he is in London?"
"Yes and he will stay until I give him an answer."
"And you did not reject him?"
"No, my parents are asking me to consider him, they are afraid this is the only proposal I will ever get and so am I Alice. You know this is not my introduction to society, I have been out long enough unlike you, most girls I came out with are married, some even have children."
"Right yes so why did you not say yes?"
"I am trying to say it, will you help me? I want to be married and it's just with the opportunity here I find myself considering other matters than just being a wife and a mother. I had thought of nothing other than to have my own home to take care of but now I keep finding reasons to not accept him, reasons I never thought of before."
YOU ARE READING
The Greatest JourneyHistorical Fiction
Miss Alice Stewart is a poor girl, recently fatherless with a mother and two younger siblings to take care when she finds a job in service as a maid with her aunt Mrs. Green. Soon the family she works for loses money and lets go of her, in need of w...